The Economist Group is a global media and information-services company that exists to champion progress. Its brands are The Economist, Economist Impact, Economist Intelligence, and Economist Education. The company prides itself on providing individuals and organisations with the expertise, insights, and perspective to press forward.
With a history dating back to 1843, The Economist Group is built on high-quality, independent analysis, which is a common thread that runs through all of its businesses. Based in London and serving a global readership and client base, the group creates content and products in digital and print formats, produces global events, and offers a range of subscription and other services for clients and subscribers.
As a leader in analysis, intelligence and influence, The Economist Group must be vigilant in its security strategies to maintain its commitment to excellence and independent thought in its reporting, products, and services. Security is vital to gaining and keeping the trust of its millions of customers around the world.
In 2021 following the Group’s digital transformation program to transition its technology infrastructure to the cloud, The Economist Group looked at how its new technology stack would benefit from outside expert monitoring. The team began to research and evaluate managed detection and response (MDR) partners, with a focus on getting information and data on threats quickly, to increase efficiency and remediate issues more quickly.
The Economist Group initiated a thorough search for an MDR partner, evaluating multiple vendors, who all came to the table with their own unique approaches to detecting threats. Stakeholders from across the organisation came together to participate in the evaluation and the decision-making process.
Following an evaluation of multiple vendors, the team selected Expel as its MDR partner. The team also saw that Expel could help the organisation get ahead of threats that could impact the business—now and in the future.
With Expel, we have a partner that protects our modern cloud environment proactively. We no longer have to worry if our security capabilities can keep up with our computing needs, or with the pace at which the threat landscape is expanding.”⎯Christine Ford | Head of Information Security
How Expel helps
Once implemented, Expel plugged into The Economist Group’s existing security tools, including its endpoint detection and response (EDR) and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, via APIs in just a few hours. This rapid integration quickly helped protect the Group’s on-prem and cloud infrastructure, and SaaS apps. With Expel’s threat detection rules unlocked it put forward richer, higher-fidelity insights than the tools could deliver on their own. The Expel Workbench™ platform clearly presented its more information-rich alerts in an easy-to-understand interface, putting critical security intelligence in front of the team on a single pane of glass.
Within just a few days, analysts could see critical information about threats in a single interface, saving time and thus improving the quality of security intel.
That quick, seamless, and productive integration also benefited Christine Ford when she joined The Economist Group as its new Head of Information Security in 2022. With Expel, she got a comprehensive view of the security environment, could easily see how the organisation was prepared to handle and remediate threats, and understood how security supported the digital transformation effort.
“Joining The Economist Group and seeing that we have an MDR partner like Expel was important to me,” recalls Ford. “With our team, we need to focus on advancing our overall cybersecurity strategy and capabilities and can’t be bogged down by constantly tracking threats and investigating alerts. Knowing Expel is in the background watching out for us is huge.”
It’s not only integrations with security tools that Ford appreciates. “Expel’s team and Expel Workbench plug directly into Slack, making it quick and easy for us to communicate and see real-time updates and statuses on investigations and remediations,” she says. “The Expel team surfaces alerts quickly to our team in a collaboration platform we’re already using. We know we have someone with eyes on our estate that will make sure we get actionable information we can use to make the right decisions.”
We work arm-in-arm with Expel to constantly tune our environment to improve our readiness both for what we can see, and what threat actors have yet to unleash. And when an incident does occur, we know Expel is right there, committed to our security and success.”⎯Christine Ford | Head of Information Security
One of the most significant benefits The Economist Group realises from its partnership with Expel is that its cybersecurity posture is now aligned with its digital transformation strategy. “So much of our business is now based in the cloud,” explains Ford, “With Expel, we have a partner that protects our modern cloud environment proactively. We no longer have to worry if our security capabilities can keep up with our computing needs, or with the pace at which the threat landscape is expanding.”
The Expel partnership also gives The Economist Group’s security team the space it needs to focus on other cybersecurity priorities. “Expel is a natural extension of our team. The analysts watching our environment truly know us. This means I can align my internal team members to focus on the many other security initiatives that are critical to the success of The Economist Group,” says Ford.
“We work arm-in-arm with Expel to constantly tune our environment to improve our readiness both for what we can see, and what threat actors have yet to unleash. And when an incident does occur, we know Expel is right there, committed to our security and success.”
Expel is committed to working with The Economist Group to evolve the organisation’s threat detection and response capabilities. The changing nature of attack tactics and trends means that the security team can never rest on its laurels. It’s constantly updating and adjusting its alert rules to be prepared for new threats. It’s this feedback that helps ensure Expel will continue delivering value to The Economist Group, from within its unique environment. By helping to protect the company from future threats, Expel is doing its part to ensure The Economist Group can continue informing and educating its audiences for generations.
Benefits of partnering with Expel
- Supports The Economist Group’s organisational priorities around digital transformation
- Tight integration with existing EDR and SIEM tools helps improve their effectiveness
- Immediate response and 24×7 monitoring provide important peace of mind
- Allows the security team to focus on other initiatives, such as identity, vulnerability, and risk management, critical to the organisation